Banbury Community Action Group

BCAG Minutes November 2023

Chair:          Jim                       

Minutes:    Harriet

Present:      Jim S, Lynda S, Harriet J, Chris M, Colin S, Lynne C,

Naseem, Paul B, Chrissy


1. Agenda item I   Welcome and apologies                                                                            Jim

A warm welcome to Chrissy.  Apologies from Tila R, Maria M, Neil W

2. Agenda item II   a) Minutes of the last meeting, 03/10/23 b) Matters arising from the last meeting, 03/10/23                                                           Jim

No comments were received on the minutes of the last meeting.

All matters arising are covered under items in the minutes.

3.  Agenda item III   BCAG admin                                                                                             Jim                                                      

Total hours spent on BCAG business and projects for October were recorded – thanks to everyone for putting in time.  Harriet to ask any core members not at the monthly meeting, for their hours. 

4.  Agenda item IV   Treasurer’s report                                                                                Lynda

The balance stands at around £20K – this is almost entirely grant money for specific projects with the unallocated balance standing at around £900.  This is lower than usual and will make it challenging to meet ongoing costs especially with insurance likely to be around £500.

BCAG insurance is due for renewal end November.  CAG Ox will contribute £338 towards this. 

Jim now also has access to the BCAG online banking.

5. Agenda item V   Social media, Newsletter, publicity                                                      Jim   

Items please to Maria M for the upcoming Newsletter.

Stats:   271 subscribers of which 196 are voting members.  BCAG has 1,200 followers on Facebook; BSCG has 727 followers.  BATS has 50+ followers.

6. Agenda item VI   Bridge Street Community Garden  BSCG                                          (Tila)

Congratulations to Tila for securing funding from the Brighter Futures programme, CDC, to continue running the Garden and all the associated events.  Thank you to CDC for this amazing support and for recognising the value of the Community Garden to Banbury residents as a venue, destination and resource.

Two additional hexagon planters have been constructed.  Thanks to Mark for fixing the water harvesting system.

Patrissia C held another successful singing circle (15/10).

Lots of community groups and families came together at the Garden for fun at the half-term PlayDay (25/10).

Aspire continue to come to make a weekly visit to the Garden. 

Home-Start harvested pumpkins from their planter.  Home-Start volunteers enjoyed a nature connection workshop with Tila.

Restore have visited twice this month, engaging with a variety of tasks.

7.  Agenda item VII   Browning Road Orchard BRO                                                        (Colin)

Apple Day (15/10) once again brought the local community together for a lovely afternoon.  Despite this being a poor year for apple harvests, there was plenty of fruit to press and plenty of willing young volunteers to operate the presses.  Thank you to everyone who helped set up and run the event, particularly Colin and Anita.

Hanwell village borrowed the BCAG press and scratter for their Apple Day – thank you for the donation.

8. Agenda item VIII   Banbury Active Travel Supporters group                                     Zsofi

Guest speakers Jacqui Cox and Cllr Mark Cherry joined BATS for a webinar (10/10) “How to make Banbury better and greener”, discussing the latest on Banbury’s Local Cycling and Walking Infrastructure Plan (LCWIP) and progress on the 20’s Plenty initiative.  The meeting looked at how to reduce traffic and improve road safety and air quality.

As a result of the meeting, BATS is looking to prepare template letters to assist residents to voice their concerns about provision for active travel options.  BATS volunteers will continue to gather in data on the detail of Banbury streets such as road surface quality, cycle lanes and pedestrian crossings.

BATS joined in with PlayDay in the Garden (25/10) – a great opportunity to chat about active travel options.

BATS have established a link with the newly formed Oxfordshire Community Rail Partnership (OxCRP).  Backed by train operators GWR and Chiltern Railways, OxCRP supports local communities and visitors to benefit from sustainable transport.  The Partnership seeks to improve access to opportunities in the county through community projects that empower local voices, support the local economy and work to combat climate change.

BATS is proud to have been part of the enormous and angry collective action against the proposed closure of railway ticket offices which has resulted in this threat being withdrawn.

Originally scheduled for a Summer ’23 start, the improvements to the road and bus network around the railway station are currently on hold pending a further round of consultation.

BATS will be looking to work with ‘Active Oxfordshire’ in their mission to help increase rates of walking, wheeling and cycling in the county and creating healthier neighbourhoods.  November sees the launch of Active Oxfordshire’s 3 year Community Outreach Active Travel Fund, the money coming from Oxfordshire County Council.  Their focus is on Community Activation.

9. Agenda item IX     Banbury Environment Network                                                     Harriet

Sue and Harriet led a further water quality testing training session in Cropredy (14/10).  Thank you to the Cherwell and Ray Catchment Partnership for meeting the cost of the hall hire. 

10. Agenda item X     Climate Action                                                                                Jim

Jim attended the webinar on air pollution organised by OxCAG: ‘Air Quality. What to know, what to do’ (02/11).  Funding would be available for basic air quality testing in Banbury.  Hennef Way is known to have particularly high levels of air pollution, but the data is at present only collected annually.  Jim to follow up.

11. Agenda item XI     Give & Take                                                                                   Lynda

The Repair Café held in the Community Hub, Castle Quay to coincide with Autumn PlayDay (25/10), was poorly attended.  BCAG to find opportunities to promote the Saturday morning Banbury Shed sessions as a focus for repairing.

The next BCAG G&T event to be held late February / March 24.

12. Agenda item XII     Food action                                                                               Jim/Harriet

Fantastic news that Dan Peace, known to many through his role as manager of the RVS Cornhill Centre, will serve as project officer to get the ‘food action’ underway.  A very warm welcome to you, Dan!

Lynda and Harriet attended a meeting (31/10) convened by Libby Knox and led by Emily and Marcelo from the Oxford Food Hub, to initiate discussions on the possibility of a Hub – or satellite of the OFH – in Banbury.  BCAG expressed strong support for the idea, with all involved taking care to work with, and build on, existing initiatives such as (amongst others) Banbury Food for Charities and the Community Fridge.

12. Agenda item XIII     Library of Things                                                                         (Melissa)

No update this month.


  • Banbury Vision 2050 is launching 09/11.  Encourage all residents to participate.
  • Please promote and attend the Banbury Interfaith Group’s Winter Festivals event, Town Hall, 25/11.


Tuesday 05/12, 7.30pm.

This will be in-person to celebrate all the things we have achieved during 2023, and to thank Colin for everything he has done through his many years involvement with BCAG (Lynda to source the venue).

Colin: BCAG will miss you greatly.  We wish you and Anita every happiness in your new community – they are so lucky to have you coming their way!